New York Daily News: By Jessica Schladebeck – Tesla CEO Elon Musk has offered to buy Twitter in a deal amounting to more than $43 billion.

Musk’s best and final offer was $54.20 per share, which was disclosed in a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday. It comes just days after the 50-year-old billionaire, who revealed last week he bought a 9.2% stake in the social media platform, turned down a seat on Twitter’s board.

“I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” Musk wrote in the filing, adding that he wants to “transform” the platform and take it private.

“However, since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form.”

Twitter confirmed it has received the offer and will decide whether it is in the best interests of its shareholders to accept or continue to operate as a publicly traded company.

With News Wire Services